Local Sightings Film Festival 2007
Local Sightings 2004
Thursday, Oct. 4, 7pm
Opening Night Film
THE CHURCH ON DAUPHINE STREET
(Rustin Thompson, Ann Hedreen, Seattle, 2007, 83min.)
While this new documentary film is set in the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it is not a tragedy. Directors Rustin Thompson and Ann Hedreen find hope and unlikely connections in the story of a team of volunteers from Seattle who join forces with locals to help rebuild a damaged church in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Led by Irish priest Joseph Benson and African-American ex-Marine Arthine Vicks, the Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos parish is one of New Orleans’ most unusual and independent congregations. CHURCH ON DAUPHINE STREET explores the stories of its parishioners and volunteers, many of who lost their homes and loved ones to the hurricane. We are proud to open this year’s festival with the West Coast Premiere of a film that shows us the extraordinary strength of the human spirit.
Opening Night Party
Join us for our typically surreal celebration of local arts, food, drink, music, and projections.
Screenings & Events
Friday, Oct. 5, 7pm
ACTS OF IMAGINATION
(Carolyn Combs, Vancouver, 2006, 88min.)
Is history an act of imagination? The question haunts Katya and her brother Jaroslaw, young immigrants to Vancouver’s east side that have recently arrived from Ukraine. While struggling to adapt to their new country, the siblings are also trying to make sense of a past that remains a disturbing mystery. Desperate for money, Jaroslaw devises a plan to sell a precious heirloom from the Holodomor, the Stalin-era famine that killed millions of Ukrainians. Meanwhile, a series of events with unforeseen consequences is set in motion when the real world collides with Katya’s imagined world. A film about the power of new relationships, forgiveness, and the mutability of memory, ACTS OF IMAGINATION explores how historical injustice parts people and unexpected solidarities arise.
Friday, Oct 5, 7pm
MADE IN CHINA
(John Helde, Seattle, 2007, 70min.)
Follow the travels of Seattle filmmaker John Helde as he uncovers his father’s unusual childhood as an American boy in pre-World War II China. Helde’s solo journey takes him from modern Shanghai to industrial Changsha to a rugged mountain in Western Sichuan. Through archival footage, home movies, photographs and interviews, the search for a father’s past becomes an exploration of how Americans growing up in China struggled to define “home.” A story about identity, belonging, the meaning of home and the connection between China and America, MADE IN CHINA is a personal film about the unusual experiences of an American in China.
Saturday, Oct. 6, 5pm
(Travis Swartz, Meridiad, 2007, 78min.)
NORMAN WAITING is a sometimes romantic, often western, kind of Italian, comedy. Believing he has discovered his true love, Norman proposes to his girlfriend Kristie. Expecting an angels-singing, life-affirming “moment” of perfection, Norman is stunned to find that what follows Kristie’s “I will” is panic, profound doubt, and a rush of second thoughts. Now, Norman’s “perfect” evening turns into a ridiculous quest to discover whether his proposal is “meant to be,” or a mistake that will doom him to a life without love. As the evening progresses, Norman discovers that neither love nor “moments” can be manufactured–they happen at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. A truly funny and strangely inventive film set in Montana, NORMAN WAITING is an act of cinematic fate that will leave you saying “I do.”
COOKIES FOR SALE
(Wes Kim, Seattle, 2007, 3min.)
A little girl selling cookies door-to-door engages in a battle of wills with a very grumpy neighbor.
Saturday, Oct. 6, 11pm
Late Night Screening
(Cullen Hoback, Portland, 2007, 78min.)
Hey camper, are you ready to battle the minions of evil, go questing for priceless treasures, and make merry in fairy-filled woods? Then join us for MONSTER CAMP, a riveting and personal look into the lives of dreamers as they escape the daily grind to take part in live-action role-playing games. In the vein of Lord of the Rings, World of Warcraft, and Dungeons and Dragons, these enthusiasts have developed a complicated world to bring their fantasies to life. Romantic relationships are forged between characters. Friendships are destroyed over plot disputes. Characters are slain and never return. Sure to reawaken your own mythical fantasies, this late-night event will have you laughing and squirming in equal measures as you identify all too readily with these gaming enthusiasts.
(Carlos Lopez, Seattle, 2007, 4min.)
A jogger is confronted with an untimely distraction to her morning routine.
Monday, Oct. 8, 7pm
ALL MY LOVE
(Brian Short, Seattle, 2006, 90min.)
Following in the footsteps of documentary films such as Koyaanisquatsi and Baraka Seattle filmmaker/composer Brian Short has created a bold, original work that weaves skies, landforms, structures and textures into “visual music.” ALL MY LOVE features impressionistic photography from three distinctive parts of the globe- the deserts of the American Southwest, the Mongolian Gobi, and the urban landscape of modern Berlin- and an evocative ambient/electronic score. The result is a hypnotic journey through light, movement and form that is at once global in its scope and deeply personal in its vision.
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 9:15pm
(Stephanie Skourtes, Brian Ganter, Vancouver, 2006, 60min.)
A poetic, virtuosic visual essay about the city, METROPOLE is a melody of pictures held together by the rhythm of Seattlelites moving among skyscrapers, streets, and nightlife. Directors Stephanie Skourtes and Brian Ganter create a documentary that is both involving and visually beautiful, poetically examining social class in America through interconnected urban landscapes. Taking its cues from Dziga Vertov’s MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA, the film is a tabula rasa that strips the city to its core of class, architecture, and identity. Combining beautiful cinematography with Michael Hebert’s lyrical score, METROPOLE is an important record of a moment in Seattle. Featuring additional music by Füxa, Esmerine (Ex-Godspeed You! Black Emperor), múm, AMM, mus-ok, Specs One, Joy Wants Eternity, and Blue Scholars.
BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!
Light a path for the risen one, he lives! Surreal, satiric and surprisingly touching, Guy Maddin’s remembrance in twelve chapters finally makes it way to Seattle! And what better way to see BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! then as part of NWFF’s Local Sightings Film Festival? We’re pleased to present two live performances at the Cinerama ofMaddin’s latest, perhaps the greatest work of cinema to have ever been produced by and with Seattleites. This tale of horror, lesbianism and domineering motherhood works first as camp before plunging into one of the strangest, and most potent, metaphors for buried childhood traumas ever created. The live show features a narrator, orchestra, castrato, and the Aono Jikken Ensemble to create sound effects.
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 8pm
Special live show at the Cinerama with narrator Karen Black
Thursday, Oct. 11, 8pm
Special live show at the Cinerama with narrator Guy Maddin
Monday, Oct. 8, 7pm
Century 20 – Historic Northwest Film
THE BITTER ASH
(Larry Kent, Vancouver, 1963, 16mm, 80 min.)
The likes of SHADOWS and BREATHLESS had yet to even play Vancouver in 1963 when Larry Kent, a then-26year-old college student, decided to make a feature with $5,000 and a handful of friends. That feature, THE BITTER ASH, tells the story of a cynical working stiff and a struggling, self-deluded playwright whose lives collide. The film combines the best elements of 1950s Canadian B-movies and presents them in a way that is still fresh and believable four decades later. A raucous jazz soundtrack adds to the film’s edgy feel. Seldom shown since its debut, THE BITTER ASH makes a pointed rebuttal to anyone who thinks of Canada in the early ’60s as comfy-sweatered and tragically unhip. Print courtesy of Library and Archives Canada
(Larry Kent, Vancouver, 1963/2007, 20 min.)
A dramatic portrait of a vulnerable young man set in downtown Vancouver. Filmed in 1963, prior to his first feature, THE BITTER ASH, this monochromatic film is a flashback to a notorious street and a bygone era of Canadian cinema.
Friday, Oct. 5, 9:15pm
THE SPLETZ-O-RAMA INVITATIONAL
World Premieres! Cash prizes! Seattle film critic and filmmaker Andy Spletzer has brought together a plethora of talented filmmakers to make themed films for this inaugural Spletz-O-Rama Invitational! This time, the theme is “Fairy Tales” and participating filmmakers include the lovely and talented Brady Hall, Rachel LordKenaga, Dom Zook, and Matt Wilkins. The best film, as judged by Sir Spletzer, will be awarded a real cash prize taken straight from your admissions! Come for the fun, and stay to find out how you can become part of the next installment of the Spletz-O-Rama Invitational!
Saturday, Oct. 6, 4pm
BEST OF THE NORTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL FILM FESTIVAL
The NW High School Film Festival is the high school video festival of the Puget Sound region. Last Year’s fest, sponsored by Adobe, Apple, and Oppenheimer Cine Rental, drew over 200 entries from 25 area schools. A panel of 18 film and video professionals selected winning productions. Some selections went on to take prizes at national festivals! The festival includes work in a variety of categories: Animation, Documentary, Dramatic Narrative, Sports Video, Comedic Narrative, News Feature, Music Video, Commercial, Art Film, Anti-Ad, and Public Service Announcement. Come check out tomorrow’s filmmakers and learn who is coming up on the heels of today’s artists!
Saturday, Oct. 6, 7pm
Spotlight on Portland
A lot of trees were cut down to make Portland, but the sap still glistens fresh with new creations. Tonight, visiting filmmaker Vanessa Renwick presents a sampling of great short films by Portland artists. The program features the first two films in Renwick’s ongoing CASCADIA series of Northwest portraits, Gus Van Sant’s new short FIRST KISS, made for the Cannes Film Festival’s 60th Anniversary, and work by Jon Raymond (writer of OLD JOY), animator Karl Lind, Marc Moscato, Gretchen Hogue and many others. Don’t miss this impressive survey of Portland’s cinematic lifeblood.
Saturday, Oct. 6, 7pm – FREE!
INSIDE HANGAR 27:
BEHIND THE SCENES OF BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!
Filmmaker Guy Maddin’s cinematic spectacle BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! has received raves from critics and audiences alike since it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last fall. The unusual project was largely shot in WWII-era hangars in Seattle’s Magnusun Park with an all-local crew. In conjunction with its Seattle premiere at the end of the festival, we’re hosting this informal “filmmaker chat” with key crew members about their experiences working with Maddin on one of the strangest and most ambitious film projects in Seattle’s recent history. Producer Gregg Lachow, Cinematographer Ben Kasulke and others will relate production stories and other tidbits in an intimate discussion.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 4:30pm – FREE!
NEW TRUTHS: EXPANDING THE DOCUMENTARY FORM
The explosion and expansion of the documentary form is one of the most important developments in contemporary cinema. Festival programmer Peter Lucas moderates this discussion with Northwest filmmakers about their non-traditional approaches to documentary filmmaking. Portland filmmaker Vanessa Renwick will talk about her ongoing CASCADIA film series, which presents experimental portraits of Northwest places and moments in history. Serge Gregory will discuss the blending of fact and fiction in his short film LETTER FROM MIDDLE EUROPE. Finally, Linas Phillips will discuss his current film project, which blends verite documentation of Seattle’s homeless with staged readings of great speeches from history.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 5pm – FREE!
2007 Screenplay Competition Reading
Join us for a live, staged reading of the first runner-up script from the 2007 Washington State Screenplay Competition. GRAVEROBBERS is the story of a man who remembers a tragedy in a past life and becomes so obsessed with it that he nearly ruins his life in the present. Author Brian McDonald has taught his story seminar at PIXAR, DISNEY FEATURE ANIMATION and LUCASFILM. His award-winning short film WHITE FACE ran on HBO and Cinemax and is used in corporations nationwide as a diversity-training tool. In 2006 his screenplay GRAVEROBBERS won best sci-fi in the prestigious Austin Film Festival competition. We are pleased to have Brian directing a reading of his screenplay with a cast of local, talented actors.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 7:30pm – Free!
MY EFFORTLESS BRILLIANCE
Join us for a special work-in-progress screening of the latest feature film from Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton (WE GO WAY BACK). Written in collaboration with the film’s performers, Sean Nelson (Harvey Danger), Basil Harris (WE GO WAY BACK, Awesome) and Calvin Reeder (JUNE & JULY), MY EFFORTLESS BRILLIANCE traces the ups and downs of a deep yet volatile friendship between successful novelist Eric and workaday journalist Dylan. Shelton evokes the spirit of Cassavetes in this exploration of addictive, identity-blurring relationships. The director will be in attendance to present the rough cut of the feature as well as the festival premieres of her new music videos.
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7pm
THE NEUTRINO PROJECT
This is the only film you’ll see at this year’s festival that hasn’t been made yet! Seattle Neutrino Society joins Local Sightings to create an insanely enjoyable live filmmaking entertainment experience. The only premise is that a crew of filmmakers and actors create an original work live for the audience. While one scene is screening, the Neutrino players are out running around town producing the next, which must be on screen when the previous scene ends. It’s fast, it’s furiously wild, and it’s incredibly enjoyable. The excitement is palpable in this wonderful filmmaking frenzy.
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 8pm
Special Live Presentation
EYES AND EARS SUPERNOVA
Prepare for opti-sonic crucifixion when noisemeisters Arcachnid Arcade and Garek Druss team up with free improvisers Walrus Machine to take over Northwest Film Forum for this evening of live music and film. Brand-new work by Seattle film experimenters Rachel LordKenaga, Steve Demas, Eric Ostrowski, Doug Lane, Chris Ando, Jon Behrens, R.K. Adams, Katherine Scharhon, and Reed O’Beirne will be brought to life by this live sonic feast. Bring earplugs, and open your eyes!
ERIC OSTROWSKI DVD/CD RELEASE – MAGNIFICENT FOREST
Join us in the lounge afterwards to celebrate Eric Ostrowski’s new DVD/CD release MAGNIFICENT FOREST and his new film, CYANONIDE – A film spawned from a process that uses the same chemical as the one used by people to kill themselves.)
ARTIST TRUST MEDIA FELLOWSHIP SHOWCASE
We are delighted to partner with Artist Trust in celebration of its 20th Anniversary. In its two decades of distributing grants to artists, Artist Trust has presented 24 media artists with its distinguished Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Media Arts Fellowship Award. This special showcase will feature retrospective screenings and a media installation to honor the award recipients and their work. Artist Trust is a not-for-profit organization whose sole mission is to support individual artists working in all disciplines for the enrichment of community life throughout Washington State. Learn more at www.artisttrust.org.
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7pm
Artist Trust Showcase
A series of artful, thought-provoking documentaries, imaginative narratives and evocative animations by some of the finest filmmakers in the Northwest.
BEYOND KABUKI (Janice Findley, 9.5min.)
THE REIGN OF THE DOG: A RE-VISIONIST HISTORY (Ruth Hayes, 16min.)
CHROMACYCLE (Devon Damonte, 4min.)
STEVE JESSE BERNSTEIN (Frank Video, 6min.)
CIRCADIA SEES THE MOON (David Hanagan, 16.5min.)
ISLAND ROOTS (Lucy Ostrander, 13min.)
BAPTISM (Marilyn Freeman, 10min.)
MORAL CENTRALIA (Lynn Shelton, 4.5min.)
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 9:30pm
Artist Trust Showcase
(Alec Carlin, Seattle, 2002, 113min.)
A stylish neo-noir thriller of duplicity, dance and descent into madness. When a soft-spoken young writer – inadvertently committed to an asylum for years due to a systems glitch – is released into the “real” world, his writings begin to blur the boundaries between reality and paranoid hallucination.
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6:30pm-10pm – FREE!
Artist Trust Showcase
Media Installation in the Lobby
Artists Heather Dew Oaksen and Norie Sato, armed with identical cameras in opposite parts of the world, each recorded a 10-second image at the same time, six times a day, starting one hour later every day, in order to record all 24 hours of a day in 24 days. Each of the six video monitors compiles four days in four minutes, so that the viewer experiences six days in two different places simultaneously, all in the first minute of airing. By juxtaposing serial images, a constantly shifting perspective is created.
Friday-Monday, Oct. 5-8, 9-11pm – FREE!
One of Northwest Film Forum’s cinemas is transformed into an in-house speakeasy for festival artists and audiences to drink, mingle and relax between or after screenings/events. Join us in the lounge!
Friday, Oct. 5, 11pm
Heaven only knows what your neighbors are doing in the wee hours of the night. Are they formulating nightmarish plots? Creating fantastic inventions? These shorts shed light on the strange lives across the hall, around the corner, down the road, and beyond the outer limits.
(Calvin Lee Reeder, Seattle, 13.5min.)
A stranger takes to the lonely highway with his guitar and traveling sack. Every rambler’s got a story, and this one is very strange.
JACK THE VOMITER
(Mike Corrigan, Travis Hiibner, Derrick King, Gary McLeod, Spokane, 2007, 20min.)
A killer stalks the streets of a re-imagined 19th-century slum, preying on the ragged prostitutes who walk the alleys at night.
GUSTAV BRAUSTACHE AND THE AUTO-DEBILITATOR
(Rob Cunningham, Tony Mullen, Seattle, 2006, 18min.)
The strange and hilarious misadventures of eccentric inventor Gustav Braustache, creator of such devices as the Pedestrian Direction Reverser and the Position Despecifier.
FOLIE A DEUX
(Devin Anderson, Seattle, 2007, 26min.)
Suffering from an unusual aural condition, a young man is drawn into a surreal world of his own fantasies, fears, and hallucinations.
(Anton Bogaty, Seattle, 2007, 5min.)
A boy encounters strange entities one afternoon while playing in his bedroom.
Saturday, Oct. 6, 9:15pm
Relationship trouble can be a bitch. These five short films explore a variety of strained relationships and draw important life lessons from the unusual situations. You may just learn how to keep your love, family and business relations from ever pushing your buttons again.
ALISTER MACLEAN Y’DID NEFESH
(Meredith Binder, Andy Spletzer, Seattle, 2007, 16min.)
Alister must convert to Judaism in order to marry the love of his life, but does he have what it takes?
(Thom Harp, Seattle, 2006, 21min.)
A forlorn fortune-cookie writer starts to pour his emotions into his work. Suddenly, people all over town begin to believe that their after-meal treats are talking specifically to them.
(Mark Price, Seattle, 2006, 14min.)
A beleaguered office worker must speak at his late boss’s funeral – mere minutes after discovering an affair between the company’s young heir apparent and his own wife.
THE BALLAD OF MARY JO
(Heath Ward, Seattle, 2007, 13min.)
From her relationship with a career criminal to her own work moonlighting for mob, Mary Jo lives in a romantic world on the other side of the law until a sudden altercation with the police threatens to destroy everything.
(Johan Liedgren, Seattle, 2006, 16min.)
In this subtly surreal, strangely intimate story, choices become finite and every decision suddenly appears as binary and irrevocable.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 9:15pm
POINTS OF VIEW
From rewriting history to recalling personal memories, the short films in this eclectic program mix distinct perspectives with unique narrative devices. Some of the stories are true, some are fiction, and some are mixtures of both. But all are compelling in their originality.
(Zia Mohajerjasbi, Hari Kondabolu, Seattle, 2007, 12min.)
A hilarious “mock-umentary” about an Indian stand-up comedian who is so desperate to please that he exploits every stereotype he can.
THIS TRUE STORY OF DAD CLUB
(Craig Downing, Seattle, 2006, 5min.)
A memoir about the dark distance between a daughter and her dad.
(Wayne Blackwelder, Seattle, 2007, 3min.)
A fictional and poetic remembrance of a grandfather who died on the Harusame, a destroyer in the Imperial Japanese Navy.
PORTS OF CALL
(Carlos Lopez, Seattle, 2007, 10min.)
Two lovers set out for adventure on a pleasure cruise. All is well until a grisly discovery sends their lives plummeting into the unknown.
THE SINKING OF THE HUNLEY
(Drew Christie, Sammamish, 7min.)
This animated musical conveys an historically inaccurate but hilarious account of the Civil War submarine, the H.L. Hunley.
FLAPPY: BEHIND THE MUSIC: IN THE AIR
(Matt Levinthal, Seattle, 2007, 13min.)
A documentary chronicling one local bird’s experiences in the 90′s television show “Twin Peaks.”
THE MARK OF THE BEAST
(Jay Cynik, Seattle, 2007, 3min.)
A spoof of the educational films of yesteryear that tackles the evils of tattoos.
LETTER FROM MIDDLE EUROPE
(Serge Gregory, Seattle, 2007, 8min.)
The daughter of a Holocaust survivor makes a pilgrimage to the Carpathian village her mother escaped from.
(Tobi Nussbaum, Seattle, 2007, 3min.)
Documenting a Westside Olympia taco truck.
Monday, Oct. 8, 9:15pm
Local Sightings salutes the contemporary pioneers of Northwest cinema who push the medium and experiment with new ways to convey ideas through moving images. This survey of new experimental shorts encompasses a range of approaches and styles.
(Drew Christie, Sammamish, 2007, 1min.)
Animated on the pages of one large Merck Index and a Philip Roth book, this is a crash course in Organic Chemistry.
(Ryan Jeffrey, Portland, 2007, 7min.)
This tale of creation uses the iconic imagery of mythology and religion to create a modern myth that demonstrates simultaneous appreciation for and anxiety about the technological age.
(Kevin Roy, La Grande, 2006. 4min)
FOOT SHADOW finds images from the inside out. Private spaces are a metaphor for the private mind
GET TO GO
(Reed O’Beirne, Seattle, 2006, 4min.)
A Super-8 dance film revolving around polarities of hopes, deserts, beauty and machines while following an underlying rhythm of unity.
(Scott Amos, Victoria, 2007, 1.5min)
A childhood memory recreated with hand-processed Super-8 film.
HIGH PLAINS WINTER
(Cindy Stillwell, Bozeman, 2006, 9min.)
On the high plains of Montana, the tight grip of winter’s cold is broken by images of the sport “ski joring,” as human life attempts to cope and conquer Nature’s might.
(Matthew Hickney, Covington, 2007, 3min.)
A short film about unexpected encounters and wanting what we can’t have. Music by guitarist Intisaar Jubran.
IT WAS A CRUSHING DEFEAT
(Matt McCormick, Portland, 2007, 4min.)
Looking, searching, and spinning in circles.
IN MEMORY OF CORROSION
(Jessie Smith, Sean Porter, Seattle, 2007, 6min.)
An experimental dance film by Choreographer Jessie Smith and Cinematographer Sean Porter captures Smith’s movements in a confined, slippery environment.
THE PACT 2007
(Steph Kese, Erin Pollock, Seattle, 2007, 3min.)
The latest in an ongoing collaboration between artists Steph Kese and Erin Pollock, this film is a celebration of the female form in motion and the unpredictability of the creative process.
(Luke Sieczek, Seattle, 2007, 3min.)
Rearticulating scenes from Jacques Tourneur’s CAT PEOPLE, actress Simone Simon’s face is a luminous surface in a permanent state of unrest.
(Scott Amos, Victoria, 2006, 5min.)
A melancholy reflection on the unintended dystopia of life, made from old Super-8 home movies.
(Brent Roberts, Seattle, 2007, 3min.)
If Ozzy and early Slayer had a baby, that baby wouldn’t rock half as hard as this film.
(Dawn Johnson, Craig Downing, Seattle, 2007, 2min.)
Mother Cupid takes on a bike ride in search of love and finds it.
PORTRAIT OF A PORTRAIT
(Christy Elton, Seattle, 2007, 2min.)
The first in a series of video poems exploring Seattle artists, PORTRAIT explores the inspirations of painter Joey Robinson.
THERE WERE HOUSES HERE
(Salise Hughes, Seattle, 2007, 10min.)
Post-Katrina New Orleans is haunted by images of water in the form of people wandering the ruins of the city.
(Daniel Morgan, Seattle, 2007, 3.5min.)
A young girl finds herself overcome with jealousy when her beloved bird longs for another. Her passion incites an act of treachery that she must cope with.